US 8188433 B2
A physiological sensor having reduced sensitivity to interference includes a light source, a light detector in optical communication with the light source, and a sensor pad at least partially housing the light source and the light detector. The sensor pad is configured to be capacitively isolated from a patient. Moreover, the physiological sensor may be electrically connected to an amplifier having a signal ground and a monitor.
1. A sensor comprising:
a light source;
a light detector in optical communication with said light source; and
a sensor pad having a first surface and a second surface and the sensor pad at least partially housing said light source and said light detector,
wherein the first surface is at least partially coated with a conductive adhesive and the second surface is at least partially coated with a pressure sensitive adhesive, wherein a thickness of said sensor pad is configured to capacitively isolate the light detector from a patient.
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8. A physiological sensor system comprising:
a sensor having a light source and a light detector at least partially housed by a sensor pad and wherein the sensor pad includes a first surface at least partially coated with a conductive adhesive and a second surface at least partially coated with a pressure sensitive adhesive; and
an amplifier in communication with said sensor, said amplifier including a signal ground and a monitor,
wherein said sensor is configured to be capacitively isolated from a patient based at least in part on a thickness of said sensor pad.
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Physiological sensors are often used in medical applications to help doctors diagnose, monitor, and treat patients. Some physiological sensors use spectroscopy to provide valuable information about the patient's body tissue. Spectroscopy generally refers to the dispersion of light as it travels through a medium. A physiological sensor employing near-infrared spectroscopy may be used to detect characteristics of various body tissues by transmitting and receiving near-infrared light through the body tissue, and outputting a signal to a controller that provides valuable information about the body tissue. A doctor may use this information to diagnose, monitor, and treat the patient.
To measure the intensity of the light that travels inside the tissue, the near-infrared spectroscopy sensor may use one or more large area photodiodes mounted onto a flexible circuit board within a sensor pad. Because the photodiodes have a high equivalent resistance of the p-n junction, the sensor is very sensitive to the electromagnetic interference from other devices, such as electrosurgical equipment, electrocardiogram devices, or power supplies from medical or other electronic devices. One way to reduce the sensitivity of the near-infrared spectroscopy sensor to these other devices includes enclosing the photodiodes in a Faraday shield made from a copper mesh or plastic film covered by a transparent conductive material, such as iridium oxide. However, the Faraday shield is expensive, decreases the sensitivity of the photodiodes to the near-infrared light generated by the sensor, and reduces the flexibility of the sensor.
Accordingly, a sensor is needed that reduces or eliminates the effects of electronic devices without the added expense and/or decreased sensitivity in sensors employing the Faraday shield solution.
A physiological sensor includes a light source, a light detector, and a sensor pad that is capacitively isolated from a patient. When the sensor pad is placed on the patient, light from the light source travels through a portion of the patient's body and is at least partially received by the light detector. The light detector then outputs a signal to a signal ground that is indicative of oxygen saturation. However, electronic devices such as electrosurgical generators, electrocardiogram devices, power sources, or any other medical or non-medical devices near the sensor pad may interfere with the light received by the light detector. In particular, the electronic device may create a voltage potential between the patient and the sensor pad that generates an electromagnetic field that may be detected by the light detector. If detected, the electromagnetic field may affect the signal output by the light detector, causing false oxygen saturation readings. To remedy this, the sensitivity of the sensor may be reduced by capacitively isolating the sensor pad from the patient, which effectively reduces the voltage potential between the patient and the sensor pad and reduces the sensitivity of the sensor. Moreover, the sensitivity of the sensor may be further reduced by capacitively isolating the signal ground from the monitor.
In one exemplary approach, a first surface 20 of the sensor pad 16 is at least partially coated with a conductive adhesive and a second surface 22 of the sensor pad 16 is at least partially coated with a pressure sensitive adhesive 26 that is not conductive to capacitively isolate the patient from the sensor pad 16. The second surface 22 of the sensor pad 16 is on the underside of the sensor pad 16 as illustrated in
It is appreciated that one or both of the first and second surfaces 20 and 22 may be completely coated with the conductive adhesive and the pressure sensitive adhesive 26, respectively. The conductive adhesive may be any conductive adhesive, such as ARCare-8001 manufactured by Adhesive Research Corporation. The pressure sensitive adhesive 26 may be any adhesive that will adhere to the patient's skin. When attached, the sensor pad 16 is arranged such that the conductive adhesive is spaced from the patient. The distance between the conductive adhesive and the patient's skin may affect the capacitance Cp of the patient, discussed in further detail below (see
The capacitance Cp may be similar to the capacitance of a parallel-plate capacitor the patient's body represents one plate and the conductive adhesive on the first surface 20 represents the other plate. The first surface 20 has an area A and is separated from the patient's body by a distance d. From this, capacitance Cp is approximately equal to the following:
The sensor 10 itself may generate an electromagnetic field that may be received by and affect the light detectors 14. For example, the light source 12 and light detector 14 may be disposed on a printed circuit board 28 having traces 30. The spacing and configuration of the traces 30 may generate an electromagnetic field that interferes with the light detectors 14 in the same way a large voltage potential across the patient 44 and the sensor pad 16 may generate an electromagnetic field and affect the light detectors 14. To compensate for this type of electromagnetic field, the traces 30 on the printed circuit board 28 may be printed very close to one another to reduce the magnitude of any electromagnetic field generated therebetween. Moreover, the shape of the traces 30 may be such that there are few, if any, loops created. For example, the traces 30 may be configured to travel parallel to one another and in straight lines as much as possible, with few, if any, rounded edges. This will minimize a loop that may pick up a high frequency electromagnetic field from an interference current generated by an electrosurgical generator to the ground via the patient, as discussed in further detail below.
The sensor 10 may include other components, such as a light-blocking pad 32 disposed on the sensor pad 16 and over the printed circuit board 28 to reduce interference from ambient light, and a spacer 34 disposed between the light-blocking pad 32 and the printed circuit board 28. As illustrated, the spacer 34 may define openings 18 for each light source 12 and light detector 14. Further, the sensor 10 may include a shield 42 to protect signals transmitted from the light detector 14 to a signal ground 50 (see
Referring now to
The capacitance Cp between the patient 44 and the sensor pad 16 absorbs changes in voltage between the sensor pad 16 and the patient 44 causing interference with the sensor 10, and in particular, an electromagnetic field received by the light detectors 14. The changes in voltage potential may be caused by an electronic device 46 used with the patient 44 as well as various physical characteristics of the patient 44, such as the patient's height, weight, etc, may cause these changes in voltage.
To further reduce interference, the signal ground 50 may be capacitively isolated from the monitor 52, represented in
The above description is intended to be illustrative and not restrictive. Many alternative approaches or applications other than the examples provided would be apparent to those of skill in the art upon reading the above description. The scope of the invention should be determined, not with reference to the above description, but should instead be determined with reference to the appended claims, along with the full scope of equivalents to which such claims are entitled. It is anticipated and intended that future developments will occur in the arts discussed herein, and that the disclosed systems and methods will be incorporated into such future examples. In sum, it should be understood that the invention is capable of modification and variation and is limited only by the following claims.
The present embodiments have been particularly shown and described, which are merely illustrative of the best modes. It should be understood by those skilled in the art that various alternatives to the embodiments described herein may be employed in practicing the claims without departing from the spirit and scope as defined in the following claims. It is intended that the following claims define the scope of the invention and that the method and apparatus within the scope of these claims and their equivalents be covered thereby. This description should be understood to include all novel and non-obvious combinations of elements described herein, and claims may be presented in this or a later application to any novel and non-obvious combination of these elements. Moreover, the foregoing embodiments are illustrative, and no single feature or element is essential to all possible combinations that may be claimed in this or a later application.
All terms used in the claims are intended to be given their broadest reasonable constructions and their ordinary meanings as understood by those skilled in the art unless an explicit indication to the contrary is made herein. In particular, use of the singular articles such as “a,” “the,” “said,” etc. should be read to recite one or more of the indicated elements unless a claim recites an explicit limitation to the contrary.